Silencing/Unsilencing Nature: A ‘Lupocentric’ Remediation of Animal-Nature Relationships




Anthropocentrism, speciesism, constructionism, discursive-material knot, arts-based research, wolf, nature, photography, voice, silencing, unsilencing


This article is theoretically grounded in a reflection on the discursive-material knot, which uses a macro-(con)textual approach to discourse, but also allocates a non-hierarchical position to the material, recognizing its agency. The article uses the ontological model to further theorize the discursive-material struggles of, and over, nature, and in particular of non-human animals. These theoretical frameworks are then deployed to reflect on the “Silencing/Unsilencing Nature” project (and its diverse subprojects). This is an arts-based research project which aims to unpack the discursive-material relationship between humans and nature, and how nature often has been silenced, focusing on the position of the wolf in the zoo assemblage, and how these animals are discursively and materially entrapped. At the same time, the “Silencing/Unsilencing Nature” project investigates how this situation can be changed, and how their voices can still be made audible, gain more strength and become further unsilenced.

Author Biography

Nico Carpentier, Charles University

Nico Carpentier is an extraordinary professor at Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic) and president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) (2020–2024). He is also a research fellow at Loughborough University, UK and a work package leader in the Mistra Environmental Communication Research Program.


Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Barthes, R. (1974). S/Z. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Beirne, P. (2014). Theriocide: Naming animal killing. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 3(2), 49–66.

Benedict-Jones, L. (2014). Storyteller: The photographs of Duane Michals. Pittsburgh, Munich, London and New York: Carnegie Museum of Art / DelMonico Books Prestel.

Carpentier, N. (2017). The discursive-material knot: Cyprus in conflict and community media participation. New York: Peter Lang.

Carpentier, N. (2020). The Prague Zoo wolf assemblage: Reflections on the frontiers of the discursive and the material. Fotograf, 35, 4–7.

Carpentier, N. (2021a). Doing justice to the agential material: A reflection on a non-hierarchical repositioning of the discursive and the material. Journal of Language and Politics, 20(1), 112–128.

Carpentier, N. (2021b). Silencing/Unsilencing Nature: A participatory visual essay on the right to flourish. Comunicazioni Sociali, Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies, 1, 60–69.

Carpentier, N., & De Cleen, B. (2007). Bringing discourse theory into media studies. Journal of Language and Politics, 6(2), 267–295.

Cooperman, H. (2018). Listening through performance: Identity, embodiment, and arts-based research. In M. Capous-Desyllas & K. Morgaine (eds.), Creating social change through creativity: Antioppressive arts-based research methodologies (pp. 19–35). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Corbett, J. (2006). Communicating nature: How we create and understand environmental messages. Washington, Covelo and London: Island Press.

de Certeau, M. (1984). The practice of everyday life, trans. S. Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1986). Kafka: Toward a minor literature, trans. D. Polan. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Derrida, J. (1991). Eating well, or the calculation of the subject: An interview with Jacques Derrida. In E. Cadava, P. Connor & J.-L. Nancy (eds.), Who comes after the subject? (pp. 96–119). New York and London: Routledge.

Derrida, J. (2008). The animal that therefore I am. New York: Fordham University Press.

Derrida, J. (2011). The beast and the sovereign: Volume I. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Donaldson, S., & Kymlicka, W. (2011). Zoopolis: A political theory of animal rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ellis, C., Adams, T., & Bochner, A. (2010). Autoethnography: An overview. Forum: Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1). Retrieved December, 15 2021 from

Hall, S. (1997). The work of representation. In S. Hall (ed.), Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices (pp. 13–64). London: Sage.

Hribal, J. (2010). Fear of the animal planet: The hidden history of animal resistance. Oakland, CA: Counter Punch Press and AK Press.

Jarldorn, M. (2019). Photovoice handbook for social workers: Method, practicalities and possibilities for social change. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kang, K. (2019). On the problem of the justification of river rights. Water International, 44(6-7), 667–683.

Kohn, E. (2013). How forests think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.

Laclau, E. (1988). Metaphor and social antagonisms. In C. Nelson & L. Grossberg (eds.), Marxism and the interpretation of culture (pp. 249–257). Urbana: University of Illinois.

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social. An introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leavy, P. (2015). Method meets art: Arts-based research practice (2nd ed.). London: Guilford Press.

Lorimer, J. (2007). Nonhuman charisma. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25(5): 911–932.

Meijer, E. (2019). When animals speak: Toward an interspecies democracy. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Mitchell, T. (2002). Rule of experts: Egypt, techno-politics, modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Morrell, M. E. (2010). Empathy and democracy: Feeling, thinking, and deliberation. University Park: Penn State University Press.

Pateman, C. (1970). Participation and democratic theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pick, A. (2011). Creaturely poetics: Animality and vulnerability in literature and film. New York: Columbia University Press.

Robisch, S. K. (2009). Wolves and the wolf myth in American literature. Reno: University of Nevada Press.

Said, E. W. (1994). Culture and imperialism. London: Vintage.

Sinner, A. (2014). Flight of the ‘Artademics’: Scholarly gentrification and conceptual+art discourses. Visual Arts Research, 40(1), 124–126.

Spivak, G. C. (1988). Can the subaltern speak? In C. Nelson & L. Grossberg (eds.), Marxism and the interpretation of culture (pp. 271–313). Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Stibbe, A. (2012). Animals erased: Discourse, ecology, and reconnection with the natural world. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Wolch, J. (2002). Anima urbis. Progress in Human Geography, 26(6), 721–42.

Weisberg, Z. (2009). The broken promises of monsters: Haraway, animals and the humanist legacy. Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 7(2), 22–62.

Wolfe, C. (2003). Animal rites: American culture, the discourse of species, and posthumanist theory. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.




How to Cite

Carpentier, N. (2022). Silencing/Unsilencing Nature: A ‘Lupocentric’ Remediation of Animal-Nature Relationships. Central European Journal of Communication, 15(1(30), 92-111.



Scientific Papers